The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

The Zündel Affair

Manuel Prutschi


Zündel did not emerge from a vacuum. Rather than constituting a new phenomenon, he belongs an an [sic] antisemitic continuum with pre-war roots - a continuum only temporarily interrupted in the early 1940s when Canada fought the Axis powers. After all, Adrien Arcand was his personal mentor: the Nazi, so to speak, fathered the neo-Nazi. Throughout his career moreover, Zündel has been at the centre of a number of circles composed either of antisemites or the 'fellow travellers' of bigotry, all of which have intersected and continue to intersect at various points. The lines between such groups are often blurred, and there is a great deal of cross-fertilization.

Zündel's special contribution to antisemitism in Canada has been the popularization of Holocaust denial, inspiring other Canadian antisemites, not merely the neo-Nazis, to adopt this ideology as their stock in trade. In addition, by means of his mailings overseas he has placed Canada on the global map as a major exporter of neo-Nazi material, developing a large network of worldwide contacts. Probably more than any other Canadian antisemite Zündel has been able to avail himself of these connections to expose his clientele to the broadest conceivable range of international antisemitic influence. Thus, as a premier antisemite both locally and internationally he has deparochialized Canadian antisemitism and made it 'world class.'

Work Cited

Prutschi, Manuel. "The Zündel Affair," in Davies, Alan, Ed. Antisemitism in Canada: History & Interpretation. Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992, pp. 249-277. Courtesy Canadian Jewish Congress.


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